1. Language is the expression of thought by means of spoken or written words.
2. Words are the signs of ideas. Spoken words are signs made with the vocal organs. Written words are signs made with the pen to represent the spoken words. The meanings of these signs are settled by custom or tradition in each language.
3. Most words are the signs of definite ideas such as Charles, captain, cat, strike, dive, climb, triangular, careless. Other words, of less definite meaning, serve to connect the more definite words and to show their relations to each other in connected speech.
4. In the expression of thought, words are combined into groups called phrases, clauses and sentences.
5. The relation in which a word stands to other words in the sentence is called its construction. The construction of English words is shown in three ways…(1) by their form (2) by their order (3) by the use of other words like to, from, is, etc.
6. Inflection is a change in the form of a word indicating some change in its meaning such as boy, boy’s; man, men; drink, drank.
7. Grammar is the science which treats of the forms and the constructions of words. Syntax is that department of grammar which treats of the constructions of words.
8. The rules of grammar derive their authority from good usage,—that is, from the customs or habits followed by educated speakers and writers.